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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of July 30, 2017


#3: Study Finds Correlations Between Intestinal Viruses & Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

“Previous studies had found that changes in Bacteroides species are associated with developing type 1 diabetes, and here we found that viruses that infect Bacteroides are associated with the development of auto-antibodies,” said Herbert “Skip” Virgin IV, MD, PhD, a professor and head of pathology and immunology at Washington University, in St. Louis. “Our findings support the idea that Bacteroides or other bacteria, and the viruses that infect them, play a role in the pathological process that leads to diabetes.”
The Washington University study follows a 2015 study in Finland which looked at the gut microbiomes of children with high type 1 diabetes (T1D) risk and found similar correlations between bacteria profiles and the likelihood of developing T1D.
Dr. Virgin hopes his research and will not only lead to better prediction of T1D, but also eventually to prevention of the disease.
“There’s a lot of verification that needs to be done,” Dr. Virgin said. “We need to see if we can replicate these findings in another group of children, and then we have to show causality in an animal model. But if these results hold up, we may one day be able to prevent type 1 diabetes by treating high-risk children with circoviruses. It can be a terrible disease and no one knows how to prevent it. Circoviruses are worth investigating.”

Continue reading about the correlation between viruses and type 1 diabetes, here.

#2: France to Make Vaccinations For 11 Diseases Mandatory Starting in 2018

“It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs.” That’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continually stresses to individuals who are on the fence about vaccinating their children.

Although vaccines are not available for all diseases, they do exist for devastating diseases such as polio, measles, mumps and more. To this end, officials in France recently announced that beginning in 2018, it will be mandatory for parents to vaccinate their children against 11 common illnesses. (Mandatory vaccines are already required for diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis.)

The regulation announcement comes on the heels of reports that 24,000 cases of measles—as well as 10 related deaths—occurred in France between 2008 and 2016. These infections occurred despite the fact that a vaccine was widely available and recommended throughout the country, albeit not required.

Last month (July 2017), France’s Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn spoke to the French newspaper LeParisien about the problem, stating, “Today, in France, measles reappears. It is not tolerable that children die from it: 10 have died since 2008. Since this vaccine is only recommended and not mandatory, the coverage rate is 75%, whereas it should be 95% to prevent this epidemic.”

Read more about France’s regulation, here.

Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.